THIS Is the Best Way to Keep Your Strawberries Fresh (2023)

Keep your strawberries fresh for as long as possible! We tested six methods to find out how to store strawberries and were surprised by the best technique.

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Fresh strawberries are so luscious and flavorful, especially when you pick your own or buy baskets from a local fruit stand at the height of strawberry season. It’s like there’s a taste of summer in every berry! Growing strawberries from seeds isn’t that tricky but keeping them fresh can be a challenge. They’re so delicious that no one wants to lose even one precious strawberry to mushiness or mold.

There are a lot of opinions out there on how to store strawberries, so we put some popular methods to the test. Here’s what we learned about storing strawberries, and the method we liked best.

How We Tested These Methods

All of the methods below were tested by keeping the strawberries in the refrigerator for seven days (except for the freezer method). Because strawberries and other fresh berries tend to have mold spores on their surfaces, they spoil faster when left out at room temperature. Keeping them in the fridge slows down this process so you have more time to use them. It’s the best option when you need to keep your strawberries for more than a day or so.

So what’s the best way to store them in the fridge? Here’s what we found out.

The Best Methods to Store Strawberries

Method 1: Original Container

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About This Method: Strawberries are typically sold in plastic clamshell boxes or berry baskets made of wood or cardboard. They have openings along the sides and lid to let air flow around the berries.

How To Do It: This is the easiest method to try. Just pop the container in the fridge! (Though if you see moldy or mushy berries, remove those first.)

Did It Work? This method works fine to store your fresh strawberries in the fridge for a few days, but after seven days they had some mushy spots and a few, tiny specks of mold growing. The leaves also looked withered. The strawberries for the most part were still edible, and would be best sliced up for a recipe so that the bad spots can be cut away.

The Verdict: Not bad.

This is a fine storage method if you’re in a rush, as long as you plan to use the berries in 3-5 days. Any longer and they begin to spoil and look unappetizing.

Method 2: Vinegar Bath

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About This Method: Freshly picked berries have naturally occurring mold spores on them, which is what eventually will make them spoil. Rinsing strawberries in a vinegar bath kills these spores, so they can’t affect the berries.

How To Do It: For this method, stir one cup of white vinegar into two cups of water. Place the whole strawberries in the mixture and gently swish them around for about a minute. Then rinse the berries off under clean water (this mini colander is perfect for washing berries). Lay the strawberries out to dry on a tray lined with a dish towel. When they’re completely dry, place them back in the original container and store them in the fridge.

Did It Work? Other sources sing the praises of this storage method, so we were surprised with the results. We even tested the method twice to be sure. The strawberries looked bedraggled and dark, with shriveled leaves and soft spots. Although there were no signs of mold, the berries didn’t look appealing at all.

The Verdict: Skip it.

Strawberries absorb water when they’re washed and this accelerates their decay. Even though they were laid out to dry, the strawberries still had the moisture they absorbed, and this ultimately affected their freshness. It’s best to wait to wash strawberries until right before you need them for your recipe.

Method 3: The Crisper

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About This Method: Crisper drawers in refrigerators are designed to be storage spots for fruits and vegetables. The drawers have vents to create high or low humidity environments that help produce last as long as possible.

How To Do It: Place whole strawberries on a tray lined with clean paper towelsor reusable refrigerator liners. Since moisture speeds decay in strawberries, the paper towels will help by absorbing moisture on the strawberry surfaces or leaking juices. Once your tray of berries is in the drawer, open the vents to let moisture escape and keep humidity low.

Did It Work? After seven days, the strawberries for the most part looked good. Although the leaves were limp, and we did find one berry that was beginning to grow mold, the majority of the strawberries were still firm and ready to eat.


The Verdict: It works.

The crisper drawer does what it’s supposed to do: it prevents moisture from building up on the strawberries, so they stay fresh. Spacing the berries out in a single layer on absorbent paper towels was also key to keeping the berries dry. If you weren’t already using your crisper drawer for fruit, it’s about time you did!

Method 4: With FreshPaper

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About This Method: FreshPaper is a product designed to keep produce fresher longer. The compostable paper sheets are infused with spices that naturally inhibit the bacteria that causes fruits and veggies to spoil. (And the sheets smell amazing!)

How To Do It: It’s very easy: the directions for FreshPaper say to just drop a sheet in with your produce wherever you’re storing it, in the fridge or at room temperature. We tucked a sheet in the original container holding our strawberries.

Did It Work? The results were similar to those of the strawberries in the crisper drawer, although there were a few more strawberries near the bottom of the carton that had mushy spots. The majority of the berries were still firm and tasty.

The Verdict: Pretty good.

FreshPaper seems to keep its promise of inhibiting bacteria, since there was no mold on the strawberries. Because the berries were piled in a carton there was less airflow to the berries near the bottom, and they began to develop soft spots. If the berries were laid in a single layer with a sheet of FreshPaper, we think they’d do well in the fridge for the full seven days.

Method 5: Freezer

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About This Method: Fresh berries are stored in freezer bags in the freezer, where they last for months instead of days.

How To Do It: Rinse and dry whole strawberries, then remove the stem and leaves with a knife or a hulling tool. (This makes the berries easier to use once they’re thawed.) The right gadgets will make the process go much more smoothly. Don’t missour other favoriteberry tools. Place the strawberries inside resealable freezer bags, and press out all the air. Freeze the strawberries in a flat, single layer, and once they’re frozen you can move the bag where you need to in your freezer.

Did It Work? The strawberries freeze up beautifully, and this gives you the chance to hang on to their summer flavor for longer than if you store them in the fridge. The only downside is that strawberries will lose their firmness when thawed, but there are plenty of ways to use them.

The Verdict: Great for long term storage.

Freezing strawberries is an excellent choice. When sealed well, the berries last for several months. It’s important to use thicker, freezer safe bags so that your strawberries won’t absorb odors. Also, squeeze all the air out to prevent freezer burn from forming. Because freezing breaks down the cell walls of the berries, they will be soft and juicy when you thaw them. Use the thawed or partially frozen berries in smoothies and milkshakes, in baked dishes like cobblers or muffins, and to make strawberry sauce.

Method 6: Mason Jar

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About This Method: Fresh, whole strawberries are sealed inside glass mason jars with metal lids and bands, then refrigerated.

How To Do It: Check through your strawberries to remove any that have mushy spots or mold. Place your unwashed strawberries in a glass mason jar, and stack them loosely so that they aren’t squishing each other. Tightly fasten the metal lid and band on the jar, then put it in the fridge.

Did It Work? Yes! This is our favorite of the six methods. If you don’t see any difference between the before and after photos of this method, it’s not a trick. After seven days the strawberries looked as fresh as they did on day one, with plump, firm fruit and fresh leaves. It was so satisfying to find the strawberries looked and tasted this perfect after a week in the fridge.

The Verdict: We love it!

No air can get into the sealed mason jars, and this seems to hold off the decay of the strawberries. There’s just enough natural moisture in the fruit that the berries stay firm and the leaves stay vibrant. When we opened the jar it made the same pssshh! noise that you hear when opening a soda: that’s the ethylene gas produced by the strawberries escaping. It’s important that the strawberries go into the jar unwashed, and that any iffy berries are removed so they don’t affect the rest.

Things to Remember When Storing Strawberries

No matter which storage method you decide to try, there are a few rules about storing fresh strawberries to know. All of these tips will help your berries stay fresher and better looking for a longer time.

Sort the berries

Just as one bad apple can spoil the bunch, one moldy or deteriorating strawberry will cause the rest of the berries to spoil faster, too. Check boxes of strawberries carefully at the store before you buy them. When you get your strawberries home, sort through them and remove any that have mold or look mushy.

(Video) How to Keep Strawberries Fresh Longer, 3 Ways to Store Strawberries Longer

Leave the stem and leaves on

Hulling the strawberries, or even just tearing off the leaves and stems, exposes the flesh of the fruit to air and bacteria, which will cause them to rot quickly. It’s best to leave strawberries whole with leaves and stems intact until you’re ready to use them.

Wait to wash them

It’s a good idea to wash berries, but wait to do this until just before you’re ready to use them. Strawberries absorb water quickly and once the surfaces are saturated they will quickly turn to mush or get moldy.

There are some recipes like chocolate covered strawberries, where you’ll want use the whole berries after washing. For these times, rinse the berries quickly in cold water, and handle them very gently. Then, spread them out on a tray lined with a clean dish towel to air dry. Turn them occasionally, so they can dry on all sides and around the leaves. Once they’re completely dry to the touch, use them right away.

Store in the refrigerator

Unless you’re planning to eat or use your fresh strawberries within a day of bringing them home, the refrigerator is the best place to store them. (And you can choose which method to try!) The cold temperature will slow down the spoiling process so you’ll have your berries for longer.

The Best Desserts for Strawberry Lovers

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THIS Is the Best Way to Keep Your Strawberries Fresh (7)Taste of Home

Mamaw Emily’s Strawberry Cake

My husband loved his Mamaw's strawberry cake recipe. He thought no one could duplicate it. I made it, and it’s just as scrumptious as he remembers. —Jennifer Bruce, Manitou, Kentucky

Get Recipe

Easy Fresh Strawberry Pie

For my mother's birthday, I made this strawberry pie recipe instead of a cake. Since it was mid-May in Oklahoma, the berries were absolutely perfect. It was a memorable occasion for the whole family. —Josh Carter, Birmingham, Alabama

Go to Recipe

Strawberry Trifle

I won first prize in a dairy recipe contest with this tasty strawberry trifle. You can double the recipe and make two for large groups. —Norma Steiner, Monroe, Wisconsin

(Video) How to clean and store your strawberries

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Heavenly Filled Strawberries

These luscious stuffed berries are the perfect bite-sized dessert. —Stephen Munro, Beaver Bank, Nova Scotia

Go to Recipe

Chocolate-Strawberry Celebration Cake

Although I have some great "from-scratch" recipes, this chocolate strawberry celebration cake uses a boxed mix with plenty of doctoring. It has become a popular groom's cake that gets more attention than the wedding cake. —Nora Fitzgerald, Sevierville, Tennessee

Go to Recipe

Rhubarb Strawberry Cobbler

Mom's yummy cobbler is a truly wonderful finale to any meal. This family favorite is sweet and tart, chock-full of berries and rhubarb, and the thick crust is so easy to make. —Susan Emery, Everett, Washington

Go to Recipe

Strawberry Shortcake

I grew up helping my mom make a lot in our farmhouse kitchen; strawberry shortcakes, roasts, soups and pies. This sunny strawberry shortcake recipe brings back memories of family summers on the farm. —Janet Becker, Anacortes, Washington

Go to Recipe

(Video) An easy hack to make your strawberries last weeks in the fridge using a glass mason jar.

Taste of Home

Strawberry/Rhubarb Crumb Pie

Everyone seems to have a rhubarb patch here in Maine. This pie won first prize at our church fair; I hope it's a winner at your house, too! —Paula Phillips, East Winthrop, Maine

Go to Recipe

Strawberry Oatmeal Bars

A fruity filling and fluffy coconut topping truly make these strawberry oatmeal bars one of a kind. They really dress up my trays of Christmas goodies. —Flo Burtnett, Gage, Oklahoma

Go to Recipe

Strawberry Sorbet Sensation

On hot days in Colorado, we chill out with slices of this berries-and-cream dessert. The layered effect is so much fun. Use any flavor of sorbet you like. —Kendra Doss, Colorado Springs, Colorado

Go to Recipe

(Video) How to Keep Strawberries Fresh Using White Vinegar


What is the best way to keep strawberries fresh? ›

Place your unwashed strawberries on top in a single layer, then cover with a lid or plastic wrap and refrigerate until ready to use, ideally within seven days. If you notice one of the strawberries going bad or turning moldy, immediately remove it and discard.

How can I store my strawberries in a Mason jar to make them last longer? ›

How To Do It: Check through your strawberries to remove any that have mushy spots or mold. Place your unwashed strawberries in a glass mason jar, and stack them loosely so that they aren't squishing each other. Tightly fasten the metal lid and band on the jar, then put it in the fridge.

Do strawberries keep better in the fridge or on the counter? ›

Fresh strawberries can go directly into the refrigerator, but will do just fine on the counter for a couple of days. Remove any bruised or otherwise marred berries and place the rest in a colander or open-weave basket to allow good airflow.

How do you make strawberries last longer in the fridge? ›

Rinse with vinegar solution: Soak strawberries in a vinegar solution (one-part white vinegar and three parts water) for a few minutes. Then drain them, pat them dry, and place them on a clean paper towel in a glass container. Loosely place the lid on and store in the refrigerator.

How do you keep strawberries from molding in the fridge? ›

Arrange freshly picked strawberries in a single layer on a shallow plate or pie plate lined with paper towels. Cover or fit into a large plastic sealable bag and then seal the bag and refrigerate. Stored this way, strawberries should last at least five-seven days. The strawberries should stay dry and cold.

Is it better to store strawberries in glass or plastic? ›

My tests proved that the best way to store fresh strawberries to make them last longer was to place unwashed strawberries in a glass storage container with a tight fitting lid and refrigerate them.

How to make strawberries last longer in the fridge without vinegar? ›

His method includes dunking berries in a pot of 125°F water (which is hot but not quite simmering) for 30 seconds, then transferring them onto a paper towel-lined sheet tray in the fridge. The hot water bath is said to suppress mold growth, thus making the berries last longer.

Should you wash strawberries in vinegar? ›

The most effective way to clean pesticide residue off of strawberries is to submerge them in a vinegar bath. In a bowl, mix four parts water with one part white vinegar, then let the strawberries soak in the bowl for 20 minutes. Rinse the strawberries thoroughly with fresh cold water to clean off the vinegar.

Do strawberries last longer in a Ziploc bag? ›

Do strawberries last longer in Ziploc bags? The inclination may be to store them in airtight containers, but strawberries will rot more quickly when the moisture is trapped inside. Even the plastic containers in which many grocery store strawberries are packed are a bad choice for refrigerator storage.

How do you keep strawberries fresh for 2 weeks? ›

Just keep it in an airtight jar in your fridge. "If you put your fruit, like strawberries, in a glass jar in the refrigerator, they stay fresh for 2 to 3 weeks!" This method of storing food is actually pretty popular amongst the zero-waste community.

Does putting fruit in mason jars make it last longer? ›

Storing fresh fruit and vegetables in mason jars is a great way to extend their shelf-life. With the proper preparation, some produce can last up to twice as long as fruit kept in plastic containers.

Why do strawberries mold so fast in the fridge? ›

Why do berries go bad so fast? It comes down to moisture… and mold. Berries tend to be quite porous, water-rich and delicately skinned, meaning they soak up excess moisture in their environment very easily. They also pretty much all carry mold spores, which grow rapidly when moisture is plentiful.

How do you make strawberries last longer with vinegar? ›

Soak the strawberries (leaves and all) in the vinegar/water mixture for at least 10 minutes. Then I place my strawberries in an uncovered bowl in the refrigerator. The vinegar/water mixture kills any mold spores on the strawberries and keeps them fresh longer. The vinegar does not affect the taste.

How do you wash berries to last longer? ›

In a large bowl, mix together 3 cups water and 1 cup white vinegar. Immerse your berries in the water and gently stir in order to wash. Let the berries soak for 5 to 10 minutes. Drain the berries in a colander and rinse under running water.

How do you keep strawberries in a Ziplock bag? ›

Place the strawberries in a bowl, and sprinkle some sugar on them (about 1 part sugar for every 6 parts strawberries). Stir them a bit to spread out the sugar and wait 5-10 minutes for the strawberries to absorb the sugar. Then, place them in a large zip-lock bag and store it in the freezer.

Should I Store strawberries with a paper towel? ›

Keeping your berries in an airtight container with paper towels will keep the berries fresh for at least two weeks.

Why do mason jars keep fruit fresh? ›

Because mason jars are air tight, they keep the produce from spoiling as quickly.

Do you wash strawberries before putting them in a glass jar? ›

Do not remove the stem, and do not wash the strawberries before storing them. Use a clean glass jar that's been washed and dried thoroughly. It needs to have a tight-fitting lid.

What does white vinegar do to strawberries? ›

A mixture of vinegar and water can destroy harmful bacteria and kill off mold spores on the strawberries. Vinegar gives berries a thorough cleaning and can get rid of any dirt or little bugs that may be on them. Soaking your berries in vinegar won't affect how they taste.

How long do you let strawberries sit in vinegar? ›

  1. Fill a large bowl with four parts water to one part white vinegar.
  2. Place the berries in a colander that fits inside the larger bowl. ...
  3. Soak for approximately 20 minutes (any longer can create a soggy berry and any shorter isn't as effective).
  4. Lift the colander and rinse the fruit thoroughly under cool water.
Feb 11, 2023

Do strawberries last longer in a glass jar? ›

My tests proved that the best way to store fresh strawberries to make them last longer was to place unwashed strawberries in a glass storage container with a tight fitting lid and refrigerate them.


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